Legal Memorandum: Motion to Dismiss in MN

Issue: What is the Standard for a Motion to Dismiss in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion to dismiss; Legally sufficient claim for relief
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 122 N.W.2d 26; 636 N.W.2d 334; 558 N.W.2d 746; 265 Minn. 391; 540 N.W.2d 494
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2012

The Court’s sole task on a motion to dismiss is to determine whether the plaintiff’s complaint sets forth a legally sufficient claim for relief.  See Barton v. Moore, 558 N.W.2d 746, 749 (Minn. 1997).  The Court must accept the facts in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable and favorable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.  Pullar v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 701, 582 N.W.2d 273, 275-76 (Minn. Ct. App. 1998).   At this stage of the proceedings, whether the plaintiff can prove the facts alleged is immaterial.  Stead-Bowers v. Langley, 636 N.W.2d 334, 338 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001). 

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim must not be granted “if it is possible on any evidence which might be produced, consistent with the pleader’s theory, to grant the relief demanded.”  Martens v. Minn. Mining & Mfg. Co., 616 N.W.2d 732, 739-40 (Minn. 2000) (citing N. States Power Co. v. Franklin, 265 Minn. 391, 395, 122 N.W.2d 26, 29 (1963)).  Although a district court typically may not consider documents other than the complaint without converting the motion into one for summary judgment, the court can consider a document if the complaint refers to it and it is central to the claims alleged.  In re Hennepin County 1986 Recycling Bond Litig., 540 N.W.2d 494, 497 (Minn. 1995).


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